tv White House Chronicles WHUT September 19, 2010 10:30am-11:00am EDT
♪ captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪ >> hello, i'm llewellyn king, host of "white house chronicle," which is coming right up. but first, a few thoughts of my own. please join me in a cup of tea. i am talking about tea because it is in the headlines from the tea party movement, but i will not talk about the deboarded movement but the very staff of the british empire. once the birds got to india and 2 gillard, , tea to govern. it is extraordinary. when no from the movies -- we know that during the second
world war, the brits or forever, let's have a nice cup of tea. of or in a crime story, i think will put the kettle on. the fact is, it was like that. i grew up in british upper deck, and tea was the way of life. we had tea before breakfast, at breakfast, after breakfast, 10:00, after lunch, lunchtea at tea time. how revolutionary. and at 5:00, we did not have any tea at all. we had something rather stronger than that. if you put a little scotch whiskey and a cup of tea, it can be delightful. this is thistea, properly made. the cup is rather small. and it is made with boiling water. there are no other ways. there is, by understand, these united states, where i have looked for nearly 50 years, a thing called iced tea. this is such an atrocious idea.
so unspeakable, unfathomable are, incomprehensible to me that i have never tried it. tea is hot. and if you like, it has sugar could do not wasted by throwing it into the boston harbor, for god's sake. i have a wonderful show today. we might actually discuss the political tea parties as opposed to the life sustaining, empire building ambrosia. we will be right back. "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut howard university television. >> and now the program host, nationally syndicated columnist, llewellyn king, and co-host, linda gasparello. ♪ >> hello again, and thank you for coming along.
i am joined by a great panel of journalists, some of the most gifted writers and thinkers in journalism in washington to discuss the news this week. and they are linda gasparello, of this program. a member of the new york daily news. a member -- philip terzian of the weekly standard, who has also written an excellent book being commented on. it is the "architects of power." roosevelt, eisenhower, and the american century. welcome. there it is. it is called "architects of power." is not like any other political book, unreadably large. thank you very much. and we're so glad to have back on the broadcast linda kenyon of salem radio. nice to see you.
this has been a momentous week politically and also i said week in terms of the national health, as we learned that more people have fallen into poverty, that more people are losing their health insurance, and that the job prospects are not getting any better. we have had an election, primary elections, which suggest strength in the extreme right. but does it suggest any coherent route to the future? >> the republicans obviously have to have it come to jesus, and i think where they decide this is our common ground. but talk to the wise democrats to do political operations in this town, and they will tell you cannot take away the fact that it is the right that is energized. and it is much easier for those folks to come together in the general election. that is the clear that the democrats have right now, and i think that is why there is not
excess of gloating over the fact that it tea party candidate won in delaware over the mainstream candidate, mike castle. >> where do you think this energy derives from? this extreme conservative energy, but it is sincere and genuine. now it is measured. >> their two sources to the there is a historic source. america was founded as an anti- tax entity, as your ex fellow countrymen in know well. and there have always been periodic populist uprising. >> but this is larger than tax, isn't it? >> it is. it is an accumulation of things to address specifically, to some degree, i think it is based on the fact that president obama's election was really based, and we now recognize more on his own personal charisma and not so much on policy grounds --
>> and so much a reaction against the previous republican. >> obviously, a reaction against the previous two but i do not believe the independents who were attracted to obama necessarily expected the agenda to be enacted with the democratic congress. >> i have a feeling his problem is not his agenda but his inability to convince people of its merit. >> i would like to get back to the word that phil used which is charisma and obama's charisma. that seems to me is what a lot of these tea party candidates have. that have this charismatic way about them. somebody like christine o'donnell, really very perky. >> let's explain. >> choose from delaware. she won the republican primary. very perky, very personable. a lot of the things that attract people to sarah palin are attracted to christine
o'donnell in that way could you have ren paul has charisma of his own in kentucky. he is very plain-spoken. he's very sort of forthright. he seems very genuine to people. that is very charismatic. that is something that i think democrats are going to have to look at. they talk about the energy. >> people feel they want somebody on a horse riding up to the west to the south in the >> exactly. these people seem to be on a horse. the horse the what the right is what they feel is a horse against the president's social democratic policies. they do not like them. they do not want them. the democrats have to point out why these social democratic policies are good for the country, how they help people. how it will help when they are stranded. obama has not made the case for that. joe biden certainly has not made the case for that. time is running up. >> linda, what do you think
motivates them? is it nostalgic for the past, may be a past that never was? >> i think there was a sweeping change. people were talking about change when obama was elected. now people are saying, wait a minute, this is not the change we wanted, let's change that. people have a short memory. people do not remember how good or how bad things were the previous administration or the one before that or before that. and they just want something different. it is the economy that seems to be the driving force on everything. no matter what, everybody's very sour right now. >> i think it is the economy. it is how it is affecting a particular group of americans, who were largely white but very decent. middle-class. they feel the american at the new and love is changing maybe faster than they can deal with. and the fact that wages are stagnant. they're not getting richer. they're getting poorer. anybody who is getting more poor does not feel as good about the state of affairs as people who
are getting even marginally richer. even that inflation rates. >> well, the economy always has an effect on the national temperament. >> we're not alone in this. europe is going through its own problems. unemployment, actually doing a little better in terms of financial growth. nonetheless, tremendous of debt, big deficits. in britain, the new torie prime minister and his associates in the liberal party have come up with extraordinary cuts that are coming or they promise are coming or they think they can get to the house of commons and employment without blood in the streets. cutting government to permit a 20% in some cases, 40%. nothing happens until actually about two months from now. then it starts to bite. they have been helped by sort of english nostalgia for a more simple time. what is going to happen?
can you actually go and cut expenditures at a time when you have high unemployment? aren't you going to raise unemployment and have a seven backlash against this -- have a said in a backlash against this? and when people find out they have to do with out and it is not a nostalgic trip down memory lane but brutal reality of less money and fewer things. >> well, i think it is an indicator of the pathology of the times. the public debt is now a subject that people are discussing in a del. ordinary citizens are concerned about it. the interesting irony here is that for decades, the last two or three, there has been a lot of speculation that the future of western europe's prosperity, with its diminishing birthrate in its ever rising public debt with sweetheart deals, public employees, early retirement ages are by american standards
with rather comfortable working hours. so the moment when we, who have usually been lecturing the europeans about that, are expanding. the europeans are finally coming to grips with it. i think in britain's case, i do not know the business pelchat. i think is more nostalgic for the idea that austerity, if properly deployed and endured, does lead to recovery. >> i do not believe so myself. i have been watching this phenomenon since the 1950's of the time when we were more civil, we were more closer to each other. we have less but the was more community life. i do not think it exists in other european countries. it is an english phenomenon that now they're doing programs on the television in england of people making cakes without eggs and all of these austerity things from the second world
war. but i think it is purely nostalgia. most of the population in england was not alive during the second world war are the work, like me, rather small at the time. linda, what do you think of a country with two wars going on there that really refuses to contemplate austerity as an option? we cut spending, but we do not say austerity. we do not say do without. nobody is suffering. in that sense. suffering in an economic sense. but they're not suffering because of a national effort to help the wars. aren't we kidding ourselves here? >> that brings up the whole can you cut taxes during a war kind of question. and nobody wants taxes raised, but then what do you do to continue to fund wars and to to prop up help the job market that is
continually sagging? unless you have some money coming in. so that is really what has got most the senators and congressmen on capitol hill and in the grips of conflict arena. an offshoot of the economy, of course. but nobody wants their taxes raised ever. yet, you still have to pay for services. >> this is the philosopher who said democracy works until the ball finally convert themselves money. cutting taxes is another way of voting yourself money because you are voting yourself credit, not money. i would like to remind our listeners on sirius xm that "white house chronicle they're listening house" with myself, llewellyn king, linda gasparello, linda kenyon philip terzianphilip, and joe davidson. this program can be heard at 9:30 a.m. eastern time on this
ideas -- on sirius xm 130 and 110. we're on that the television around the globe on voice of america, and the 300 plus stations we have here in the united states, some commercial and mostly private channels. where do we go from here? what happens in the midterms? what happens if you get republican majorities with some crazies in them or some extremes, but i can say crazy now because karl rove used the word -- was sort of cohesion do you want to have in this new majority? and what are they going to get past that they can get together themselves to pass something? it will be vetoed by the democratic president, and? >> let me give you my cynical survey. the other one? >> not now. only this cynical one.
in some ways, christine o'donnell's victory was a blessing in disguise for republicans if it means the republicans gain the senate. if everything goes as it appears to be going and the republicans regain the house but do not gain a majority in the senate, that will enable them to slow down the obama machine. but it will not put the legislative responsibility upon them because they will not have the senate. the republicans control the house and the senate, it will be this sense that congress is in republican hands, now do something. which in my view, usually cannot be done if you do not have the white house, which they do not have. so this is them, in my view, in an enviable if slightly machiavellian political situation where they have the best of both worlds. they will be able to to some degree control obama's program, but obama cannot run against the
do-nothing congress if he runs for reelection. >> un die are at the white house often, almost daily. what has happened to obama? it seems to me that he is under clause in a way. he is the same man. he walks to the podium. he is very appealing an attractive. but somehow he is not financing, even with us covering him. >> it is interesting because you have a very unusual dynamic here. i think we're on a wholesale level, president obama can connect with people at any given time. but on a personal level, that is where you hear people unable to tell you who the president is, what he means to them. it is an interesting sort of dynamic that has been created here. i think some of it is caused by, you know, the first family's sort of need and want to try to keep certain things together as a family private and personal.
but i also think that, how do i put this in a way that robert gibbs is not going to be offended? >> i have tried. >> i think they're much better at running a campaign, quite frankly, than they are running the country. then again, maybe that is the way it is for all presidents. some do a better job of hiding the fact that they are learning while they're on the job. but it is interesting. we'll look for these elections to try and find connections with the beats the recover. i actually think there's a case to be made where president obama can learn from the defeat of mayor fenty in washington, d.c., on that very level. the mayor has a natural base, which have is to be part of president obama's natural base, and he was unable to connect. his votes came from, you know, nw washington, d.c. not from across -- towards the
river, obviously. i think that is something that this white house should pay attention to. we are about to see apparently, potentially, i should say, a repeat performance in our native state of massachusetts, where governor patrick is suffering from the exact same problem. and very smart man. very hard working. unable to connect with the people in cities like where i grew up in fall river. springfield. boston does not necessarily elector governor. >> as good as martha's vineyard, so goes elmhurst in cambridge. wonderful. i think there are some lessons to be learned. for president obama to pay attention to the fact that there is no reason why he should not be able to connect. i also think that -- we're talking about how he needs a little more bill clinton in him. >> he does.
>> but he also needs to be more of a decider. >> i think he makes the mistake of calling people criticize him, he must say, look, i am not as bad as you say. that does not work. you might as well be as bad as they say because you're not going to change their minds. not the hard-core people who decided to hit him because he was a democrat to begin with. i have this feeling that what we are seeing is the lost war from a certain kind of republicanism, a certain group and the makeup of the country being essentially a the end of the period of the eastern ascendancy in politics, the white men in suits making decisions. this is very disturbing. anytime you see huge change. we have immigration, a growing internal minorities. it is not immigration, i would hasten to say, it is not just our problem. the whole world is watching and
millions of people are moving from one country to another. i the guy mentioned this before. the sad thing that zimbabwe, which has been destroyed, my homeland, are now moving to south africa were there is no welcome for them. but somehow it is better. they might get a meal every other day, which they will not get there. people are on the move. venezuela is a flooded with immigrants, and that is not exactly a paradise. >> just bringing up the sort of a lion in winter aspect of the republican party. >> i did that because phil is a literary editor, and i knew it and make him feel warm, and he might growl for us. >> but there is a lion in winter because we're so used to sing republican white politicians the republican party that is coming up will not look like that. you look as the light bobby jindal. using the indian americans coming up in the party.
and there are enormous numbers. the republican party is going to be extremely different. i really welcome a lot of the changes that will come in with the end of the lion in winter. and then end up as a party. what i do not welcome -- >> i like the way you're handling my analogy. you are using it extremely well. >> are the useful idiots? but they have let the republican party allowed to be elected in the two-party. >> the thing is, we're preconditions to expect, and yet, useful idiots in the democratic party. yet, shock, horror with the republicans. they have been fairly cohesive and have been able to go to the country club in sort matters out. >> that is true. there are liberal conservatives, conservatives you can deal with. >> conservatism began its
change, i think, after ronald reagan and margaret thatcher. that was lines in winter, after which there were different. conservatives were different. i doubt anything works to get back to that. >> let me make two observations. one is that there is no correlation between the success or a genius of politicians and their curriculum or the things that impress us as journalists. the best example of that is ronald reagan, the great actor who went to eureka college and was a movie actor, who will now recognize, even if you did not agree with him, but he was a formidable politician. >> absolutely. >> the other thing is that the settings in journalism is that we always overestimate the importance of current events. while everyone was tearing their hair a few days ago but the
delaware raise, i was reminded that just four years ago, the democratic voters of connecticut ousted the vice presidential nominee of their party in a party primary, joe lieberman. which had meaning, but in the long run. >> the democrats are quite capable of doing absolutely ridiculous things. but you have given years of a marvelous the way into your own boat. we should remind people that the buck is "architects of power." roosevelt, eisenhower, and the american century is the subtitle. these are people you would not think would be blended together in the book. why did you do it that way? >> i find them both fascinating figures. that is the point of it. you have two very dissimilar people, one a democrat, won the republican. one and nebraska aristocrat, 18 midwestern army officer who
inadvertently came together at a moment in history. and both, i think, were really the custodians who guided america into world leadership after world war ii. >> the book has been extremely well received. i have not had a chance to read it myself, unfortunately. i will, because i know you'll give me a test next icu. i do not want to have to dodge behind lampposts in the streets when i see you coming towards me to see whether i have read the book. but tell me, what is your conclusion? when you have done the research, often used research and people and come out somewhere else the more you thought you would. what was -- what will you come out with? >> well, i think where i came out was that even though we're talking about events that occurred 65, 70 years ago, talking about a world that is very much gone, if you look at
the way both fdr and ike looked at this country and its essential role in the world, it is actually a lesson that still obtains and has some relevance for us at this moment. >> great. it is of a " architects of power." by philip terzian. it is time for our high notes and loan notes. london -- linda gasparello. >> i have a high net. i hear the national opera is doing an offer in -- copper in the outfield at the national baseball stadium. it will be simulcast, and it will be a mass ball. so take me out to the -- amassed all? >> there might be the appearance of some of these divas, not be a bad thing. ken -- >> i think a high note that sort of the white house would agree
with is the announcement coming said elizabeth warren is going to be the wall street watchdog, the consumer advocate in the financial-services area. i think it is a high point because she is not a political person. i think the only way you can rein in, if you will, the culture of greed is to have someone who will go there without any question and without her hands tied and without being in danger to any particular party. >> there is another way of dealing with greed. get rich yourself. it does not seem nearly as nasty. in journalism, that is not a possibility. >> you did not get into the business for the money? >> no, search. the humility and the drinks. >> well, i did, and it has been a continual disappointment. >> your judgment is a suspect, sir, suspect. >> i have a low point that is
parochial. the mayor of washington, d.c., was defeated in his quest for reelection. quite aside from all other points, he had initiated an extraordinarily impressive attempt to reform the public schools in the district of columbia, which when i was growing up in the city were some of the best public schools in the country. they're not the worst. >> we have to leave it there with linda. >> my high point is sort of one side of the same coin with the low point. the high point is referring to the midterm elections as the silly season. and the silly season, you can sort of see light at the end of the tunnel. >> the low point is that you do not get to it. that is our program today. we're glad you came along. you can watch this program and others that preceded it at wh chronicle.com. and you can read some of my scribblings there and attacks
from readers. take care. all the best. and hot tea is the realty. cheers. ♪ >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut howard university television. from washington, d.c., this has been "white house chronicle" -- a weekly analysis of the news with insight and a sense of humor, featuring llewellyn king, linda gasparello, and guests. this program may be seen on pbs stations and cable access channels. to see the program online, visit us at whitehousechronicle.com.